|Preparing for ‘Global’ Trade|
PM Theresa May used her first regional Cabinet meeting to launch proposals for a Modern Industrial Strategy to build on Britain’s strengths & tackle its underlying weaknesses to secure a future as a competitive, global nation.
At the heart of the Strategy green paper is an offer to businesses to strike new ‘Sector Deals’, driven by the interests of firms and the people they employ, to address sector-specific challenges & opportunities. As part of the deals government will be prepared to offer a range of support, including addressing regulatory barriers to innovation & growth, looking at how we can use trade & investment deals to increase exports, or supporting the creation of new institutions to provide leadership, support innovation or boost skills.
The green paper also sets out technologies where Britain has strengths in R&D which could be supported through the government’s new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, including: smart energy technologies; robotics & artificial intelligence and 5G mobile network technology. This fund is part of £4.7bn of additional R&D funding announced by the PM in November, a bigger increase than in any parliament since 1979.
The approach outlined builds on what exists already in sectors like automotive and aerospace – with individual firms taking the initiative to organise their sectors, backed by institutions or organisations which enable vital partnership on research and development throughout the supply chain.In aerospace, close collaboration between government and industry including through the Aerospace Growth Partnership has been instrumental in creating one of the world’s best business environments for advanced engineering, design and manufacture - with thousands of people employed in high-skilled jobs.